Simon Palomares

Screen & Photography

A Whip With Jingle Bells

A Whip With Jingle Bells is a documentary exploring the current comedy scene in Cuba. At a time of change and transition how is humour reflecting the mood of Cubans as the country slowly opens to tourism and the west.

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A documentary by Simon Palomares.
Cuban humorist Jose Marti wrote “Humour is like a whip with jingle bells in the end, while entertaining and rejoicing, lashes out at the botched and poorly done, it is a thermometer to test the temperature of society.”
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A Whip With Jingle Bells is a documentary exploring the current comedy scene in Cuba. At a time of change and transition how is humour reflecting the mood of Cuba as the country slowly opens to tourism and the west. The documentary interviews comics who have been performing for up to forty years in theatres, clubs and television. Local comics and Cuban comics who have worked and travelled abroad.

It deals with the initial question, “What is allowed and not allowed in Cuban humour” and compares it with the freedom of outside comics at a time when rules for comedy are changing all over the world.

But the documentary explores how Cubans deal with with the everyday hardships of life through though humour. “Cubans laugh about their problems. But there is a danger. They say that the more problems they have the more people laugh. I’m afraid Cubans are going to die from laughing so much.” says Octavio Rodríguez, “Churrisco”

For the past 18 years, Ricardo Isidron has been producing La Esquina de Mariconchi, a live comedy show in Havana that features popular stand-ups who regularly appear on Cuban television. It’s a showcase for some of the island country’s hottest talent. The 1600 seat theatre sells out to locals who are just coming to terms with mobile phones and wifi.

How is wifi changing Cuban society and interaction? This are some of the issues being dealt by local comics. Cuban humor. Good humor goes beyond mere entertainment: suggests, educates, criticizes, reflects; it serves as an escape valve to refresh the vertigo of society, provokes intelligence.

Donations will be used in editing, sound, music score and promotion as the filming and preproduction has been self-funded. We hope to approach networks, online content provider as well as festival by middle of next year. This is completely a passion project on my part and hope to bring the tenacity of the Cuban comics to the screen.

Artist

Simon Palomares

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VIC

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Screen & Photography

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Finding the similarities and universal truths between cultures has been the driving goal in thirty-five years as comedian, actor, writer, director and producer.

Starting as one of the creators of the stage show Wogs Out of Work, followed by the series Acropolis Now and a collection of stage shows and television appearances it was performing in different countries and in another language, Spanish, that opened the my interest in how humour is used in other corners of the world. After being the first Spanish comedian invited to the prestigious Montreal Comedy Festival a journey ensued that took me to working with Comedy Central in Spain, performing and teaching in countries such as Argentina, Peru and Bolivia. Observing how humour was used by indigenous and migrant comics and similarities ti indigenous and migrant comics in Australia. This led to the current project which looks at comedy in Cuba, a country that has been closed to the west for sixty five years and lives under mostly different rules from the rest of the world.

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El Patio Spanish Language School

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Jorge Echevarria

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Chari Saldana

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Katrina Sutton

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Angela Basetas

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Jane & Gavin

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Nelly Thomas

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Yolanda Esteban

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Carlos Saldana

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Laura Cvetkovski

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